Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday began the process to “snapback” U.N. sanctions on Iran, promising that “America will not appease” and taking aim at European allies who he accused of endangering their people.
“Our message is very, very simple, the United States will never allow the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism to freely buy and sell planes tanks missiles and other kinds of conventional weapons,” he said at a press conference outside the U.N. Security Council.
The U.S. triggered the “snapback” mechanism nearly a week after an effort by the U.S. to extend a soon-to-expire arms embargo on Iran failed at the U.N. Security Council after allies on the Council abstained.
“America will not join in this failure of leadership,” Pompeo said. “America will not appease, America will lead.”
Pompeo noted that in addition to the embargo, snapback would also reimpose sanctions on ballistic missile testing and ongoing nuclear activity, threats he said had been “foolishly downplayed” by the authors of the Obama-era deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.
He also took direct aim at the United Kingdom, France and Germany for not supporting the extension, while accusing them of privately telling him they didn’t want the embargo lifted.